Merwin Leslie Williams
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Merwin Leslie "Les" Williams 1928-2017
former Dover Parks and Recreation Director and a familiar sight for decades at Tuscarawas County events related to sports and history, died early Saturday. A resident of Dover for most of his life, he was 88. Born August 4, 1928 in Youngstown, Ohio, he was a son of the late Enoch and Sara Edwards Williams. Les was also preceded in death by his wife, Kay Williams on June 21, 1991; and an infant sister. He was a high school football official in the area for 30 years and in 1989 received the Hall of Fame Award from the Eastern District High School Football Officials Association. He also officiated, among other sports, baseball, basketball, track and field, volleyball, and soccer. He was inducted into the Cy Young Tuscarawas County Old Timers Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008, recognized for his playing, managing and umpiring. He was offered a contract by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1947, but did not report because of an arm injury. He also was a volunteer for many years at the Dover YMCA, where he also played, coached, and refereed in church league basketball games. He was a lifetime member and long-time president of the Dover Historical Society, following his father-in-law, Henry Hagloch, who founded the society. He also was a co-founder in the 1970s of a Revolutionary War re-enactment unit, the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment, at Fort Laurens. In later years, he was a resource for the community on matters of Dover High School sports history. He served in the Army in Germany during 1951-52.
Les is survived by his sons, Gary (Lee Ann) Williams of Wintersville, Brian (Cary) Williams of Columbus, Drew Williams of California; grandchildren: Owen, Meryl, Paul, Brett, Luke Williams; great grandchildren, Hannah and Molly Williams.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 29th., at 11:00 a.m. in the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home and Crematory at Dover. Friends can call at the funeral home on Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. Those wishing to express their fondest memories of Les may do so by visiting the online obituaries and flowers link on the funeral homes website. Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Hospice Truman House.


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Published in The Times Reporter on Mar. 26, 2017.
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Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
March 28, 2017
Sending condolences from the family of Wayne Smith. Our dad passed away in 2011. He and Les were cousins of the same age and played together when young. He spoke with fondness of your father. We are very sorry for your loss.
Gayle Mack
March 27, 2017
Les was a friend of mine since grade school days. I was always struck by his patience, his fairness, and his outstanding discussion skills. He always listened, but was never swayed except by new information. I will miss knowing he isn't "there", meaning somewhere I can reach, but I'm so glad he was there for all those years.
Caryl Karel
March 27, 2017
Gary, Brian, Drew, and families, I have such fond memories of your Dad and know he will be missed. Thinking of you all during this painful time. Hoping maybe the two old guys are together again, taking on some younger ones in a tennis match, and laughing. Much love, Margaret (Pretoruis) Nevins
March 26, 2017
Remember Les as a impartial, fair umpire in the 50's when Dover started it's baseball program for youth. Many years later he sent pictures of a Dover High School Star player from 1937 team n basketball I was collecting info on for a story. Just a nice guy who had heart. Sorry for your loss.
John Contini
March 26, 2017
To the family, I am so sorry to see and hear of the loss of your dad, he was a very special guy that I always enjoyed talking to. He is now reunited with the love of his life. Fly High Les
Mary Meiser
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